Spar most trusted c-store chain in UK: new survey
The study of 1,000 shoppers, which was commissioned by retail and shopper creative agency Live & Breathe, has revealed that the convenience store chain is depended on by 31% of respondents. Independent local convenience stores and Costcutter followed just behind with scores of 22% and 21% respectively.
The survey also showed that shoppers primarily visit convenience stores to buy a few daily essentials to supplement their bigger weekly shop in a large supermarket. Only 7% of respondents said they regularly visited smaller c-stores to do their main shop.
Shoppers’ top three convenience buys were found to be newspapers or magazines, lottery tickets and snack items.
Nick Gray, managing director at Live & Breathe, said: “The fact that consumers continue to use supermarkets to do their main shop represents a real challenge to all convenience offers.”
When asked how they felt about Amazon’s plans to launch an online grocery service, a third of shoppers said they would trust Amazon enough to use the service. Another third associated Amazon with good value for money while 27% thought the service would be convenient.
However opinion was divided, with a third of shoppers saying they would prefer to visit shops in person, while 24% did not trust staff to pick their food on their behalf.
Gray continued: “The fact that this many shoppers would welcome an online grocery service from Amazon could present a further challenge to convenience stores. But ultimately, proof will lie in the quality of the product and service.”
When asked what type of stores they would like to see more of on the high street , 47% of respondents said they would like more independent shops to open. However, when asked how they actually felt about those shops, 50% said they believed independent shops were more expensive while 25% thought they did not offer a wide enough range of products.
More positively, 30% of respondents felt the items independent retailers sold were equal in quality to those sold by branded stores. However, there was a difference of opinion between age groups with 40% of over 55s believing items from independent stores were as good a quality as those from branded shops, compared to only 19% of 25-34 year olds.
Gray added: “Quite clearly, independents matter to shoppers. The issue for these retailers is how to overcome possible misinterpretation that they’re more expensive. While offering competitive prices should be the focus for smaller retailers, so should promoting the overall in-store shopping experience.
“Value doesn’t simply mean price for shoppers – yes, it’s a key factor, but ultimately shoppers want great quality, a great choice of products and customer service. Independents shouldn’t underestimate the value of their knowledge and personal service.”
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